Sea Salt Granola with Olive Oil
During this time of quarantine I've found a new found appreciation for crunchy and salty things. No, I'm not talking about potato chips or snack food but complex and crunchy flavors. I have finally tapped my freezer/canned items and most of those things need to be heated up and are either soups, stews, or proteins. Nothing is crunchy or fresh anymore (waiting on a grocery delivery soon!) and oatmeal (my normal use for my rolled oats) is mushy-- so granola it is!
I've made granola in the past and I never got the big chunks like I wanted so I could snack on. After a few attempts at this recipe, I figured it out-- you need to be patient. You need to slow the heck down and let it cool. When the granola cools, it further sticks together into big chunks.
My favorite way to eat this granola is straight out of the bag while watching TV (hello healthy snacking!) or on top of a yogurt bowl with a bit of honey drizzled on top.
With yogurt bowls I tend to use frozen fruit often... especially now that all my perishables are gone. If using berries like blueberries, strawberries, etc., that are frozen, try adding them to your yogurt the night before. This way, the fruit almost "melts" into the yogurt and you get a flavored fruit yogurt without the added sugars. If your yogurt + fruit is too liquidy due to the thawing fruit, add 1 tsp. chia seeds. The chia seeds will help absorb the extra liquid.
1/2 c. Olive oil
1/2 c. Maple syrup (or honey)
2 c. Rolled oats
1 tbs. Chia seeds
2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 tbs. Almonds, sliced (could also be slivered)
2 tbs. dried Cranberries (optional)
Yields 8 servings of 1/8 c. granola
Preheat oven to 325 deg. Fahrenheit. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil and syrup and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine oats, seeds, almonds, and cranberries (if using). Mix together liquid mixture with granola. Using a rubber spatula, mix this around a few times to make sure it is all coated. Using a parchment or silicon mat lined cookie sheet spread out granola mixture. spread all over cookie sheet and press it down into an even layer.
You should try to cover all of the parchment and there should be no holes between your granola or you won't get those nice big chunks to snack on. When the granola is all pressed, sprinkle the salt over the top.
Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. You want the oats to be golden (don't disturb it by shaking it around, it doesn't need that as long as you pressed it into an even layer). Take out of the oven, and leave to cool on the counter for 1 hour, ideally about 2 hours. After 2 hours, then crack the granola into pieces-- don't do this before, the granola needs time to rest and come together.
Enjoy as a snack, or on top of plain greek yogurt with frozen mangos and a drizzle of honey on top.